December 24, 2021 Weekly Equity Market Recap. Happy Holidays and We Wish Everyone a Prosperous New Year. With Christmas falling on a Saturday, the U.S. equity markets are closed on Friday, Christmas Eve. On consecutive three days of gains, the S&P 500 hit a record close for the week as Omicron fears waned: The S&P 500 gained +2.3%, the Dow gained rose +1.7% and the Nasdaq climbed +3.2%. This week investors welcomed new facts that though Omicron is much more infectious than other coronavirus variants, it seems to be far less lethal, with largely mild symptoms. Also, Merck’s at-home COVID-19 pill received U.S. approval. On the economic front, weekly jobless claims came in largely unchanged at 205,000 while consumer spending increases +0.6% in November.
December 18, 2021 Weekly Equity Market Recap. In a choppy week of trading, stocks finished down: The Dow Jones closed down -1.7% followed by the S&P 500 -1% and the Nasdaq little changed at -0.1%. The Producer Price index has accelerated to a 9.6% year-over-year pace and is running much hotter than anyone expected. That is the highest reading on record. Moreover, inflation as measured by the CPI, jumped 6.2% from October 2020 to October 2021. In response to rising prices, the Fed announced this week that it will shrink its monthly bond purchases at twice the pace it previously announced, likely ending them altogether in March, while also increasing its forecast that the benchmark short-term rate will increase three times next year, up from just one rate hike.
December 11, 2021 Weekly Equity Market Recap. Following two weeks of volatile trading that left the S&P 500 with back-to-back weekly losses, the S&P 500 led the major U.S. indexes by closing at a record high, advancing about 1%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq and Dow Jones posted gains of 0.7% and o.6%, respectively. Inflation came in at an almost four-decade record high of 6.8% but the sticker shock was offset by being within the expectation range and consensus view that prices have peaked. Other notables for the week was the Fed reserve would take actions (tapering) to help alleviate inflation and investor concerns over omicron eased amid positive signs that the variant may be less dangerous than the Delta variant. A couple pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, indicated this week that their vaccine and antibody treatment, respectively, appear to have been effective against Omicron in early-stage studies.